Seafood Chowder

It has been brought to my attention that lately I have only been posting recipes of cakes / desserts, and members of my family are concerned that people with think that’s all we eat – it’s not, honest!

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been watching Martin’s Still Mad About Fish on RTE 1 (Thursdays 8.30pm) with Martin Shanahan (as in he’s in the programme, not in my sitting room…) and although I’m what you might describe as “not a great lover of fish” it’s difficult not to be interested in what he has to say, such is his enthusiasm. Himself loves fish and child #1 is getting to be the same too but since I don’t like it, I don’t cook it very often. Hardly ever infact. Which is a shame really and everytime I watch the programme I feel guilty.

The other week when I was sorting out the freezer, I came across a bag of mixed seafood (mussels, squid and prawns I think..) that I’d bought in Aldi with great intentions of cooking something nice for himself. Of course as soon as the bag went into the freezer I forgot all about it.

Last year, when we were on our annual summer holidays in Killarney, Himself ordered a Seafood Chowder for lunch and every so often when we’re talking about food (yes, we do that quite a lot!) he mentions this Seafood Chowder and how much he enjoyed it etc etc. So of I went to the cookbook shelf and reached for The Irish Heritage Cookbook by Biddy White Lennon and Georgina Campbell which is a book I’m turning to more and more lately (I previously blogged a Fish Cake recipe from the same book) and found a recipe for, you guessed it, Seafood Chowder. It went down very well with himself (who had seconds) and child #1 who also had a large bowl.

I have changed it slightly to incorporate the seafood that I had but if anyone would like the original recipe, let me know and I can email it to you.

What you need:

50g butter

1 large onion

115g bacon (rind removed) diced

4 celery stalks diced

2 large potatoes

450g juicy tomatoes (or 1 can tomatoes)

450ml fish stock (I didnt have any so used a vegetable stock pot)

1 bag seafood mix

1/2 pint milk

25g cornflour

sea salt & ground black pepper

lightly whipped cream & chopped parsley to garnish


Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onion, bacon, celery and potatoes and coat with the butter. Cover and leave to sweat over the very gentle heat for 5-10 minutes.

Puree the tomatoes in a food processor and sieve them to remove the skin and pips. Then add to the pan with the fish stock. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, skimming the top as required.

Add the shellfish to the soup. Blend the milk and cornflour together in a small jug, stir into the soup and bring to the boil again.

Reduce the heat, and cover and simmer for a few minutes until the fish is just tender.

Adjust the texture with milk or stock if necessary and season to taste with sea salt (if needed) and black pepper.

Serve in a warm soup bowl, garnished with a swirl of cream and some fresh parsley.


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